Dies Irae

Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)

The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of all nations. It will take place after the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 20:12–15). The doctrine, iconographic depiction and musical compositions of the “Last Judgment” are drawn from many passages from the apocalyptic sections of the Bible, but most notably from Jesus’ teaching of the strait gate in the Gospel of Matthew and also found in the Gospel of Luke. Dies Irae (The Day of Wrath)[…]

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Icon of the Laudation of the Mother of God

Akathist Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ad maiorem Matris Gloriam – For the Greater Glory of the Mother The 6th century Marian devotion, attributed to St. Romanos the Melodist, is one of the greatest marvels of Greek religious poetry, with a richness of imagery that is the despair of any translator. The title “Akathistos” literally means “non-sitting,” because all remain standing while it is sung. When the enemies attacked Constantinople, the citizens would hold a cross procession on the city walls carrying the Christian sanctities and reading out the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God. The Akathist hymn was complemented by a new introduction in[…]

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Gregorian Requiem Chants of the Requiem Mass

Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna

Líbera me (“Deliver me”) is a Roman Catholic responsory that is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The text of Libera me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased person at the Last Judgment. Libera me is begun by a cantor, who sings the versicles alone, and the responses are sung by the choir. The text is written in the first person singular, “Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that[…]

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Exsúrge, Dómine - Arise, O Lord

Exsúrge, Dómine – Arise, O God, Judge Thy Own Cause

“Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod.” ~ Pope Leo X The Israelites cried “Arise, O Lord” in confident expectation of victories over all their enemies through God’s intervention. Therefore, no matter how perilous the circumstances may be, and no matter how powerful the enemies of the Mystical Body of Christ are (which is the Church), the Lord will arise for the sake of Christendom if[…]

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Magnificat - The Canticle of Mary

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum

The Magnificat, the canticle of the Incarnation, recalls to us each day that God has stripped Himself of His glory to clothe Himself in the livery of poor and suffering humanity. “He raised [Mary] above all others because she declared herself to be the lowest of all creatures. When He made for Himself a dwelling place on earth, it was not in the palaces of kings. He chose poor, humble parents and all that the world disdained in order to cast down its pomp. This was the proper character of divine power in the new alliance: to make its virtue[…]

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Litany of Saints

Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of the Saints

A The Litany of the Saints (Litaniae Sanctorum) is a traditional chant in the Catholic Church that praises God and his saints. Its first recorded use was in 590 when Pope St. Gregory prescribed its usage for a public procession of thanksgiving. The Litany is a call to remember those who have gone before us and to ask their intercession. The form given below is a long standing traditional form of the Litany Saints published in the Roman Ritual, Latin-English edition in 1952. A partial indulgence is attached to the Litany of the Saints. Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of[…]

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Christ the King

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

The Feast of Christ the King – Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Regis – was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in the encyclical Quas Primas, as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man’s thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ’s royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations. “If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a[…]

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Filiae maestae Jerusalem by Antonio Vivaldi

«Filiæ mæstæ Jerusalem», RV 638 by Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)

“And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in[…]

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Song of Zechariah

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel (Canticle of Zachary)

The Benedictus is the Song of Zechariah, or Canticle of Zachary, given in the Gospel of Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the “Magnificat” and the “Nunc dimittis”. The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah who was filled with the Holy Spirit, on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of The Divine Office, that takes place in the early morning hours. The canticle received its name from its first words in[…]

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Rorate Mass

Rorate Cæli Mass & Hymn of the Catholic Faith

Did your community have at least one Rorate Mass this Advent? Rorate Cæli is one of the most beautiful Hymns of the Catholic Faith. The text of this piece is a faithful rendition of the verse from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 45:8) in Vulgate and other sources. It is a reverent and humble supplication to the mercy of God. It is a hymn of repentance and sorrow. The following recording comes from the Trappist Abbey of Citeaux in France. To listen, tap the play button. Latin English Rorate Cæli desuper,Et nubes pluant justum. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from aboveAnd let the clouds[…]

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Liturgical hymns in Gregorian ChantLiturgical hymns in Gregorian Chant

Te Ssæculorum Principem: Thou, Prince of all ages

Te Ssæculorum Principem (Thou, Prince of all ages) is a very moving hymn, expressing love and desire for Jesus Christ and His reign over the hearts and minds of men, but also over society at large. This is a doctrine that has always been taught by the Catholic Church: namely, that Jesus Christ should reign even in the public sphere. His laws should be helped and fostered by the civil laws, which in turn should never contradict the Divine Law. Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius X, and Archbishop Lefebvre, fought against the perfidious error which spread among Church men,[…]

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Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loretto)

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loretto)

The Litany of Loretto was introduced into the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore by Cardinal Francesco Toledo in 1597; and in 1613, Pope Paul V ordered it to be sung in that church, morning and evening, on Saturdays and on vigils and feasts of the Madonna. “From the first day of next October, therefore, until the second day of the November following, in every parish and, if the ecclesiastical authority deem it opportune and of use, in every chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin – let five decades of the Rosary be recited with the addition of the Litany of[…]

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